Students and entrepreneurs from around the UK come together to discuss how to turn an idea into a successful business as an academic.
• Innovation Forum Edinburgh organises the first Young Entrepreneurs Workshop.
• Students, entrepreneurs and business professionals come together to learn on “how to turn your idea into a successful business” in a seminar led by Barry Middleton (MediCity Scotland).
• Followed by an interactive panel discussion on the topic of “what does it take for an academic to become an entrepreneur?”
Edinburgh, Scotland, 29th November 2016
Innovation Forum Edinburgh held its first workshop for young entrepreneurs, capturing an audience of over 100 people ranging from students to legal professionals and senior entrepreneurs.
The evening began with a seminar by Barry Middleton, program lead at MediCity’s lean accelerator, sharing his expertise and advice on what it takes for a start up to survive from initial idea to successful business. Based on his own experiences of mentoring start-ups during accelerator programme at both MediCity and BioCty, Barry advised young entrepreneurs that you need to “be prepared to run through a brick wall to make your business successful”.
This was followed by a panel discussion on “what does it take for an academic to become an entrepreneur”. With experts from academia and business answering audience questions and giving their own perspective on the challenges faced when staring a new business. Although different in background, it quickly became clear that some characteristics are universal for successful entrepreneurs, including a passionate drive and a resilience to fail.
Hugh Ilyine (CEO and Founder, DestiNA Genomics Ltd.): “If you want to become an entrepreneur you have to be able to take on risk and enjoy the risk”.
Fumi Kitagawa (University of Edinburgh Business School lecturer): “It can be hard to take 2 days out of the lab as a student /researcher you need to make sure you timetable effectively and make your supervisor aware of your aspirations. The pressure to publish is counter intuitive to students who want to start a business. Remember to use your initiative your path is your own”
Prof. Dr. Win Rampen (Founder, Artemis Intelligent Power): “Building a team is the most important factor – great team = great business. Chose people who drive your business forward, share options are a great way of getting everyone rowing in the same direction”
Dr. Lysimachos Zografos (Founder, Parkure Ltd & EthosBio): “Entrepreneurship should be part of school curriculum for all subjects, it gives skills beyond simply starting a business, you gain core life skills”
The audience’s enthusiasm led to more questions being asked than could be covered in the panel session, but luckily the event ended with a networking reception where the audience could meet the panel and ask any questions they hadn’t had chance to during the discussion. The take home messages provided by the audience are enthusiastic and provide personal insights into the knowledge gained from the event:
“Grit and determination are required to sustain a start up.”
“Always question your assumptions, Entrepreneurship is not always easy but it can be exhilarating and rewarding.”
“Entrepreneurship is a romantic journey for which you have to be prepared.”
All in all, the event was a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain wisdom about the challenges and benefits of starting your own business and the interactive panel made it possible to gain personalised advice and guidance from our panel of experts.